Yup, this is a thing that I owned, all 404 pages of it. And it’s genuinely one of those things that makes me scratch my head and wonder exactly why I owned it. I seem to recall that it wasn’t a gift or something I won or anything like that: this was a book that I went out and paid real dollars that I had earned slaving over a hot stove in a restaurant for.
Was the Internet that hard to navigate in 2002? Apparently. Because the fact that “Companion” books like this, which are essentially just wiki pages on various episodes of a television show, manage to not only sell but sell for extraordinary prices. I mean it’s essentially a web page article on each episode of Angel… that can’t be updated, edited, or changed. I suppose in some ways that’s good: you’ll never go back to this only to discover that the site was taken down or changed or moved or what have you. But that doesn’t seem like a big enough problem to justify the added cost of this mammoth volume.
Who was this for? I could see this having only one practical use: you are a writer on Angel, and you need a quick-reference guide or Bible to make sure the new episode you’re writing jives with current continuity. But even then: wouldn’t that be supplied by Mutant Enemy? And even if it isn’t, again, sci-fi and fantasy shows are some of the most meticulously updated things on the web. Nerds love continuity. So even in that rare circumstances (actually extinct. Unless you count the comic, there are no writers on ‘Angel’ anymore) the web is still better. One digital bookmark eliminates the need for this entire book.
This is the Essential Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe all over again.